Today, I’m hosting award-winning author Jennifer Wilck’s latest release, Unlock My Heart, book two in the Scarred Hearts series, a contemporary romance. Be sure to read my review. And don’t forget to enter the Raffle copter giveaway.
Title: Unlock My Heart
Series: Scarred Hearts, Book Two
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Billionaire
Author: Jennifer Wilck
Publication Date: March 2, 2022
Length: 263 pages
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Abby Marlow, computer security expert, lands a job at the best IT security firm in the country. Her sole focus is financial independence so she never has to rely on others again, especially a man. But why does her boss make her wires short circuit?
Ted Endicott, CEO and founder of the IT security firm, is hard of hearing. Although an expert in his field, he’s still uncomfortable admitting his difficulty hearing to his clients or employees. So why is he willing to accept Abby’s help?
As Ted and Abby work together, barriers fall away, and soon the lines blur between colleagues and lovers. But a security glitch in a client’s system indicates one of his employees is the hacker, and all signs point to Abby. Can they get past the suspicion and find a future together?
They walked with care up the icy steps, Ted taking Abby’s arm. His concern for her touched her. Desire flared. At the top of the steps, she leaned against one of the gray stone columns and caught her breath, but he joined her, arms on either side of her, his body shielding her from the few brave tourists who entered or left. This close to him, his eyelashes provided a dark outline to his eyes, his cheeks were ruddy from the cold, and his minty breath warmed her face. Out of reflex, she curled her hands around his hard biceps. His jeans brushed against hers, an invisible string tangled between the two of them, pulled her toward him. The air crackled.
She blinked. His lips were parted, pale, and looked like silk. She wondered what they’d feel like against hers, her neck, her…with a huge effort, she dragged her gaze away from his lips.
His neck enticed her more. The skin was a bit rough, and right below his Adam’s apple was the hollow she wanted to touch. More than anything, right now, she wanted to touch it. She lifted her hand off his arm and stopped in midair as he swallowed. Was he as turned on right now as she was?
His pupils dilated until they were outlined in electric blue. He tipped toward her, his nose brushed against hers, and he paused.
He was going to kiss her.
I loved the blurb, so when this came up for review, I was all for it. Abby Marlowe lands a great job in Silicon Valley with one of the top businesses owned by the hero, Ted Endicott. Both have a personal rule—no fraternizing with the employee/boss.
Naturally, they are instantly attracted to each other, but both have big hang-ups. Ted is legally deaf, and he always worries people can’t see him as a normal human being. He is extremely mistrustful. As for Abby, she has a great backstory, and thanks to her mother, Abby refuses to let anything stop her career from skyrocketing. She wants no man to take care of her, because that’s what her mother is famous for since Abby was a child—finding men with money who’ll pay the bills.
Of course there’s a villain lurking about, determined to breach the security of a client the business is protecting, and that is when Ted’s lack of trust comes into play.
I really enjoyed these two. Even though they were drawn to each other, both refused to give in to their feelings. There was a lot of great plot devices to strand the two together that forced them into close proximity.
I also enjoyed the setting of Silicon Valley and NYC. I have no clue about Silicon Valley, so it was great to read a story set there. As for NYC, I’m a sucker for that place. I’m all about romances set in the Big Apple.
Then there’s the secondary characters Simon and Meg who live in Maine. They are Ted’s go-to people when he’s in crisis. I have a hunch Simon and Meg had their own story, but they did not intrude on Abby and Ted’s. The author used them wonderfully as a couple ready to aid their dear friend, while also giving readers of the series a glimpse into how Simon and Meg were doing. And they were interesting enough to make me want to read their story.
I enjoyed the building tension between Abby and Ted, and of course when they do finally come together, and that one big clash that makes you wonder how they’ll great through this horrible predicament they find themselves in that really puts a big test on their budding relationship and profession. Well done, author.
The character arcs of Abby and Ted are what really grabbed me. This is naturally executed, very organic.
My only quibble is the heavy narration. The book is quite narrative heavy, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the love story of Ted and Abby. Do yourself a favour and get a copy. It’s a wonderful read with a nice bit of suspense thrown in.
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
Jennifer Wilck is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats.
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